Being named NFC Special Teams Player of the Month for November is nice. But David Akers is solely focused on his next kick.
"That's our job, to go out and perform at a high level," said Akers, who nailed a game-winning 32-yarder with less than two minutes to play in a 27-24 win over Washington. "I really try not to get too high or too low on a make or a miss and stay as even keel as possible."
If Akers makes his next field goal attempt, he will tie his own franchise record of 17 consecutive field goals set back in 2001. He'll also add to his league-leading point total (101) and total field goals (24) on the season.
"He's obviously in a very good rhythm and we just have to keep him there for the rest of the season," said special teams coordinator Ted Daisher.
However, it won't be easy this week inside the Georgia Dome, where Akers is 4-of-7 for his career, including a pair of misses from 49 yards in Philadelphia's last visit to Atlanta in 2005 and a 41-yarder that was blocked back in 2003. In fact, Akers has made good on 14 of his 21 indoor kicks.
"That doesn't mean anything," Akers said. "Overall, it is one of those things that if you execute right, it should be less of a headache than dealing with the wind."
Atlanta actually holds special memories for Akers, who tried to make the team's practice squad in 1997-98.
"All I was looking for was somebody to give me an opportunity," Akers recalled.
Akers said he learned a great deal from veteran kicker Morten Andersen and veteran punter Dan Stryzinski, as well as special teams coach Joe DeCamillis and head coach Dan Reeves during his brief time with the Falcons.
"They called me 'Q boy' because I asked so many questions," Akers recalled. "I was asking questions all the time. I was trying to be like a sponge and soak it all in. I learned a lot."
Akers did that the year before in Carolina with John Kasay and in 1999 when he joined the Eagles and tutored under veteran kicker Norm Johnson and veteran punter Sean Landeta.
"I really think I'm a combination of all those guys as a professional," Akers said.
Akers has certainly come a long way. Now in his 12th NFL season, he is having a Pro Bowl caliber season. He has made 24 of 27 field goal attempts. His 88.9 FG percentage is the highest average of his career and his 11 field goals of 40-plus yards is the second highest total of his career (he notched a team-record 17 in 2004). Ironically, the last time Akers made the Pro Bowl was following the 2004 season.
"Anytime the ball goes through the sticks, I'm happy," Akers said. "Ultimately, when the team calls upon me, I hope to be able to go out and make the kick."
-- Posted by Bob Kent, 2:05 p.m., December 4